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Decision time! USC Marshall ($$$) vs UVA Darden!

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Intern
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Joined: 24 Jun 2013
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Decision time! USC Marshall ($$$) vs UVA Darden! [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2014, 14:49
Currently in Portland, grew up in CA, would happily move to the east coast for a new experience. Want to focus on finance and work in finance/investor relations upon graduation; I kind of see myself eventually living/working in CA (dream employer would be google or similar), but I'm not against a stint on the east coast or elsewhere. Leaning towards Darden, but how do I pass up full tuition at Marshall? I welcome any input!

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Re: Decision time! USC Marshall ($$$) vs UVA Darden! [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2014, 19:07
for what you want to do, I would take USC's money.

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Re: Decision time! USC Marshall ($$$) vs UVA Darden! [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2014, 06:51
Try and negotiate with Darden, but if your dream is to work in CA, I'd take the money and run.

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Re: Decision time! USC Marshall ($$$) vs UVA Darden! [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2014, 08:01
I'd pick Darden, USC placement rate and drop in rankings would scare me away.

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Re: Decision time! USC Marshall ($$$) vs UVA Darden! [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2014, 10:37
USC all the way. I can't speak enough to how great I've felt since choosing to matriculate. In your case, if your desire is to stay in California - nothing beats the Trojan Network. Placement is going to look rougher than it really is because of students who continue to turn down offers out of state as they wait for in state offers (thus they are not "employed at graduation), heavy entertainment placement that doesn't occur on the typical MBA schedule, and a total transition in the career office. I'm sure you know how Californians are West Coast or nothing.

It's easy to see the number and think of it as troubling but once you put any research into it isn't at all as much of an issue as people like to make it sound on here. There's a reason why USC's apps are up and I think it all boils down to it being a great program with great connections (within the university and beyond). 2nd years had great options to share and it was refreshing seeing a school not pressuring them to take on immediately to boost rankings.

Darden is a great program as well and I had considered it until visiting and not clicking as much as I'd hoped (nothing at all wrong just not a match). There are some posters on the Marshall thread who were accepted at Darden and chose not to attend so definitely reach out if you want more detailed info on their perspective. Of course I'm sure you'll find the same at UVA.

The money would totally seal the deal in my mind but its good that you're taking the initiative to reach out. I'd just warn you to consider the numbers in context. There are plenty of people who read rankings and in doing so consider themselves "experts" when in reality I think the real experts are those who chose to matriculate at Marshall or Darden and have done actual research and visits.

You've got great options though. GOOD LUCK! :-D

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Re: Decision time! USC Marshall ($$$) vs UVA Darden! [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2014, 11:58
Well put Manhattanite. Do what's right for you but definitely take the time to learn what the numbers mean and what the actual experience is about (something you clearly seem to already be doing ;) ).

Thought I'd chime in because you mentioned Google. I worked closely with recruitment when I had worked with them and would say that despite UVA's deserved prestige, it doesn't match USC or any of the "California 4" schools as far as main campus recruiting goes. It's often about connections to get your foot in the door and Marshall has a big presence here as does any of the "California 4" (Stanford, Cal, UCLA, USC). Can't say I remember any UVA MBA's I worked with (I'm sure they exist) but the large presence of friendly Marshall MBA's was the seed of allure that's drawn me in now. I know MBA rankings are one thing, but we tend to perceive schools by their total rank and USC is pretty solid in this regard. I think its largely because most people working in the offices carry BA's and BS's - and we build our perceptions off that set.

So ignoring all factors, if its really Google that you want, I'd go with SC. It's still no walk in the park from any school though as MBA hiring is cut throat and we often had people picking up lower positions to get in and then leveraging their degrees later when moving up.

I withdrew at Darden after interviewing though was still admitted (I felt awful thinking I may have bumped someone). It mainly was an issue of fit and not seeing myself enjoying 2 years in Charlottesville (the city not the campus). They were a very friendly and cohesive unit that shared many of the soft factors that made me fall in love with Marshall so it is still a great option. It came down to location for me and my desire to work in California with the benefit of calling myself a Trojan for life.

Good luck in making your decision and let us know!

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Decision time! USC Marshall ($$$) vs UVA Darden! [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2015, 15:37
I would go to USC over darden especially with a full ride. I doubt there's that big of a gap between the 2. USC is viewed as a top 20 MBA program even if its ranked 25 right now. If you're that unsure then visit the 2 schools to get a better feel. But USC obviously will be much better in California. I cant imagine UVA will get you a better job than USC, which is why I would lean towards full ride to USC

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Decision time! USC Marshall ($$$) vs UVA Darden!   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2015, 15:37
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